Trapped in a Legion of Christ Apostolic School – When I was 12 years old

It happens in the USA, in Mexico, Spain, and in whatever country the Catholic Church allows these boarding schools for minors [boys 11-18].

Since I first learned about the serious abuses in the Legion of Christ I have been very interested in following serious investigations such as ReGAIN’s professional investigators like Jason Berry in his Vows of Silence documentary. I admired these independent researchers who are willing to swim against the current.

My interest was spurred by my desire to confirm my own presentments in the testimonies of others; presentments that dogged me since the time I was at the Legion Junior Seminary in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. That experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth; I would never want to repeat that ever again, and I lament that other youth have not left that
place.

Thanks to a “mistake” by one of the priests I was able to escape. Let me tell my story briefly.

From the first moment I felt bad I asked the superiors to let me talk with my parents so they could pick me up. They told me I could not use the phone; that they would let my parents know; but they never did.

I NEVER received proper medical attention the two days I was sick to my stomach. They only “allowed me” to miss the 7am and 1pm masses. Otherwise I had to follow the schedule.

I could not escape because I knew the entrance gate was always locked. I found this out because one day that I wanted to go out and buy something to eat they would not let me out, under the pretence that I could only eat at the appointed times, and whenever the fathers opened a little shop at the edge of the playground.

I also found out they had a small library on the second floor: with a sitting area, TV, phone, and magazines “For the exclusive use of the priests”. Most of the time the library was locked. I accidentally discovered that place the day I arrived looking for the dormitories. They realized that I had gone in there and they strictly prohibited me from going in again.

After I realized that my parents were not coming for me, I got desperate and remembered there was a phone in the library. On several occasions I tried to get in but the door was locked. Full of fear they would discover my plan I started staking out the door; whenever I saw a priest coming out of there I would rush over to see if I could get in… After many attempts I got lucky and was able to slip in and call home.

When I was able to speak with my dad I learned something new. At the beginning the superiors had never told me that my parents would take my home any time I did not feel well. They tried by every possible means to convince my parents that I was fine and that they should leave me at the residence. “You know that it is hard at the beginning and it is only natural that they want to go home. But gradually they will get over it and love it.”

My parents then insisted repeatedly they wanted to see me and came for me. They had to insist the superiors call me down. As soon as I saw them I did not want to back into the residence on my own. My father went into the dormitory with me to get my things and I told him immediately I did not want to stay. The rest is history

I get anxious just remembering those moments of anguish. That is why I get very angry knowing that many other youth had a worse time than me in places like that.

Thanks for reading this. This is one way of getting it off my chest and facing my fear.

I hope my testimony will be motivation and support for your noble work, as you defend and seek justice for the victims of these sick people

 

ESPAÑOL

Sucede en México, USA, España, y en cualquier país donde la Iglesia sigue permitiendo estos internados para menores [chicos 11-18]

Desde que me enteré por primera vez de los graves acontecimientos dentro de la Legión, he tenido mucho interés en seguir investigaciones serias, como las que lleva a cabo REGAIN o periodistas independientes como Jason Berry en su documental Vows of Silence, entre muchos otros
valientes -como usted- de nadar a contracorriente.

Dicho interés obedece a corroborar en cada testimonio de las víctimas, esos presentimientos que sentí cuando estuve dentro del Seminario de los Legionarios de Cristo en León Guanajuato México. Me dejaron un “amargo sabor de boca”, que no quisiera volver a vivir jamás, y que lamento mucho que otros jóvenes no hayan salido a tiempo de ahí.

Gracias a un descuido de uno de los sacerdotes, logré escapar. Brevemente le comparto la experiencia:

Desde el primer momento que me sentí mal les pedí que me permitieran hablar con mis papás para que fueran por mi. Me dijeron que yo no podía usar el teléfono, que ellos darían aviso, pero arbitrariamente ignoraron mis peticiones. NUNCA recibí atención médica los dos días que estuve enfermo del estómago. Lo único que me “permitieron” es no asistir a las misas de las 7am y la 1pm. Por lo demás, todo era
normal.

No podía escapar, porque sabía que la puerta de entrada siempre estaba cerrada con llave. Me enteré de eso, porque un día quise salir a comprar algo de comer y me negaron la salida, argumentando que sólo podía comer en los horarios destinados para ello, y cuando ellos decidieran abrir una pequeña tiendita que tenían al lado de la cancha multiusos.

También sabía que en el segundo piso tenían una pequeña biblioteca: contaba con una sala, TV, teléfono y Revistas “para uso de los sacerdotes”.

La mayor parte del tiempo la tenían cerrada con candado. Yo me enteré de casualidad que existía ese lugar el primer día de mi llegada, buscando los dormitorios. Se enteraron que yo había entrado ahí y me prohibieron tajantemente que lo volviera a hacer.

Después de darme cuenta que mis papás no llegaban por mí, me entró más pánico, y me acordé que en esa biblioteca había un teléfono. En varias ocasiones traté de entrar y estaba cerrada. Lleno de miedo por temor a que descubrieran mi plan, me dediqué a vigilar la puerta y cada vez que salía un sacerdote de ahí, inmediatamente me acercaba y veía si la dejaban abierta…hasta que el descuido de uno de ellos, me permitió acceder y hablar a mi casa.

Hablando con mi papá de esto, me dice algo que no sabía, y es que los sacerdotes, al principio no querían avisarme que mis papás estaban esperándome. Trataban por todos los medios de convencer a mis papás que me dejaran ahí más tiempo. Ellos argumentaban: “así es al principio, pero cuando se acostumbre se le pasará”. Gracias a la insistencia mis padres alquerer verme,
accedieron a llamarme. En cuanto los vi, ni siquiera quise entrar solo nuevamente a las instalaciones. Mi papá me acompañó por mis cosas al dormitorio, y enseguida le dije que me quería ir de ahí. Todo lo demás es historia.

Me pongo nervioso tan sólo de volver a recordar esos momentos de angustia. Y es por eso que me da mucha rabia saber que hubo otros jóvenes que pasaron peores cosas que yo en ese tipo de lugares.

Gracias por leerme, ya que es una manera de volver a desahogar y enfrentar el miedo.

Deseo que mi testimonio sirva como impulso y apoyo, para las nobles labores que ustedes hacen, defendiendo y pidiendo justicia para las víctimas de ésta gente enferma.

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